What words spring to mind when one thinks of Shane Warne? ‘Dignity’. ‘Class’. ‘Statesmanship’. ‘Wisdom’. ‘Erudition’. ‘Normal’. Australia has two kinds of sporting hero: ones that silently plug away mastering their craft and then retire to a shed to build furniture until they die, and ones that descend into a kind of fame-induced madness. I will leave it up to your own good judgment as to which one Warnie is.
I wouldn’t dare to try and guess at the inner workings of that man’s profoundly unique brain, but I can tell you something that’s quite obvious: he is not at all happy that Waleed Aly was (reportedly) one of the many, many media professionals consulted about potential rules changes in the AFL.
It’s not entirely clear why Warnie is under the belief that Aly (born in Melbourne) is from the Greek island of Crete, but it is clear that he’s arcing up thanks to an article from the Herald Sun last night that singled the Project co-host out as being “hand-picked” by the AFL to weigh in on the changes, a line they have significantly changed in the updated article. The update now describes him as having been present at a briefing but doesn’t seem to acknowledge that they were incorrect in reporting that he was there as an advisor (although they’ve kept the parts where people are losing their minds with outrage over what they initially said, oddly).
Why would the Herald Sun single out one person involved in a consultation process that involved so many people when – by his own description and by their own reporting – he was just there to find out more about the changes “for [his] benefit rather than [the AFL’s]“? I imagine it probably has something in common with the reason that Herald Sun columnist and convicted racist Andrew Bolt has written a thousand breathless blog posts about him. But hey, it’s not like the News Corp papers have a history of singling out non-white people they don’t like and running months- or years-long campaigns against them.
Fingers crossed Warnie sees the silently updated article and his face eventually returns to a less aggressively troubling shade of red.